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that rate to 39.6% where it was during the clinton administration. what else is in this new gop proposal? >> reporter: let's show you some of the savings when it comes to government spending. first of all, they put about $600 billion in what the republicans are calling health savings. we understand -- we don't have details. we understand much of that comes from medicare, things that we've heard from republicans over and over like raising the eligibility age, means testing, things like that. so then we have about $600 billion in essentially spending cuts, half from mandatory spending, half from discretionary spending. this is the other very interesting thing that's new. $200 billion from revising the consumer price index. that sounds very technical. but it has very real world consequences because it very much could affect the money, the checks that social security recipients in particular get every single month because it effectively changes inflation so it changes the formula from what they would get. >> significant differences between the white house proposal on this part of the equatio
clinton. douglas, does this sound like code for a deal in the works? >> it certainly is good news that they aren't taking things off the table. i would be premature if i was celebrating a deal. there's a long way to go. it's important that they reach an agreement. the fiscal cliff is a very real danger to the united states economy. it's a recipe for a recession. and i certainly would not like to see the rhetoric that we saw from the treasury secretary tim geithner who said he's prepared to go over the fiscal cliff. that is not a good way to talk about what's going on right now. >> mr. reich, let me ask you the same thing. do you think there's code suggesting they are working towards something? because, doug, as you point out, the language was really harsh during this week. but all of a sudden, here we are friday evening and people are saying these kind of soft things that say maybe compromise. what do you think, robert? >> i think doug is right. it's too early to break out the champagne, but undoubtedly, the rhetoric is softening as we get closer and closer to the christmas holida
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